CURRENT AFFAIRS & REALITY?: A Question of Ethics

It would appear to be in the steps of CT’s disgraced (and convicted!) former governor, John Rowland, that Hartford mayor, Eddie Perez is walking on the thin ice of questionable ethics, or at the least, with a show of poor judgement. Perez is being investigated on charges of using a city contractor–who is also a friend–to renovate his own kitchen and bathroom at a cost of $20,000, possibly paid by the city.

Maybe not, but the idea here is that when you’re in a position of trust, don’t you take extra precautions to be fair, to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and bend backwards to make sure there’s no hint of wrongdoing?  Perez failed to get a building permit for the work, it was billed a year or so after being done, and it was paid months after that–Perez claims, with his own money.  The fact that these folks get paid well enough to afford their own renovations is beside the point; what bothers me is the sense of entitlement and total lack of a sense of fairness that so many people display these days.  And no, I’m not sure it’s more prevalent; just as I’m not positive that people are more rude and self-centered than ever before either. 

I’ve just been through a very emotional and trying three years with the settlement of my father’s estate, and one of my sisters was intent on buying the family home.  Problems arose since she was also the fiduciary and this same sense of entitlement destroyed all family relations.  Without any sense of comprehension of fairness, many renovations–obvious ones such as electrical and plumbing upgrades and changing fixtures, pulling bushes, interior painting, etc.–were done at the estate expense–inevitably (and severely) reducing the proceeds to two of the children while enhancing the property to be purchased at a previously assessed value.  But my sister truly felt that she was entitled to have the house fixed up.

Just as, I suppose, mayors and governers feel they are entitled. I could not understand my sister, and I’m sure I can no more easily understand anyone else who abuses a position of privilege or authority.  While a family matter hurts a lot more in ways other than financial, so does, for example, a politician’s.  It leaves people affected by it with a sense of betrayal, the accused’s family with a sense of shame, and all mankind with something lost.

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